Recent improvements have brightened up Southwark Elementary

Jackson Elementary isn’t the only school in South Philly getting updates this fall. Southwark Elementary at 1835 S. 9th Street has also seen some recent upgrades.

front door with new sign and logo
Photos provided by Beth Dougherty, EPX civic education chair

Southwark has gotten a lot more colorful with new murals on each floor of the 3-story school, bright colors painted in the hallways and a freshly painted front door, featuring a new sign and logo. Plus, there’s a now refurbished garden outside.

mural outside main office
1st floor mural at Southwark

2nd fl. mural.1
2nd floor mural

2nd fl mural.2

3rd fl.mural 1
3rd floor mural

3rd fl.mural.2

In addition to new fresh pops of color in the school, the garden outside has received some upgrades in memory of  Southwark’s longtime chief of maintenance, Al Huber, who passed away last year.

al huber memorial garden.front.

al huber memorial garden.front.2

Southwark has seen a renewed level of support from the community, including active support from the East Passyunk Crossing Civic Association (you can help out with their education committee) and a popular principal who started last fall, Andrew Lukov.  And the school yard is set to be reimagined thanks to a desing grant from the Community Design Collaborative and the celebrated landscape architect firm Olin.

It’s also kind of a big time for this little section of the neighborhood. Just across the street from Southwark is the former Bok Technical School, which is being planned for redevelopment into a new mixed-use community with art studios, retail, apartments and more.

— Taylor Farnsworth, @tfarnsworth3

4 thoughts on “Recent improvements have brightened up Southwark Elementary

  • October 15, 2014 at 12:31 pm

    Thank you Taylor for the terrific article on Southwark!

    Beth Dougherty
    EPX Education Committee

  • October 16, 2014 at 10:19 am

    Back in the early 2000s I worked at a non-profit organization that was running a school-wide behavioral program at Southwark. There were a lot of issues at the time (fights, tardiness, etc) and it sounds like the school has really turned itself around. I left the organization in 2004 while the program was still running and I hope that we were able to contribute to its success and turnaround 🙂 I actually moved into the neighborhood in 2011 and really do see a difference from the previous decade when I had worked with Southwark.

  • October 16, 2014 at 9:39 pm

    Looks good all around! Any update on the OLIN project?

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